Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates

This Kickstarter is attempting to raise $40,000 for At the Gates, a turn-based strategy game set during the decline of the Roman Empire. This will be developed by Conifer Games, a new studio formed by Jon Shafer, most recently of Stardock and lead designer on Sid Meier's Civilization V when he was at Firaxis.. Shortly after it was announced that Shafer was joining Stardock it was said that he would "bring additional modding expertise to the recently launched Elemental: War of Magic and will take the lead in designing the next as-of-yet unannounced Stardock title." Jon's LinkedIn profile indicates he left Stardock in September 2012 after serving as "project lead for an unannounced title." Back to At the Gates, they offer a trailer with almost 15 minutes of gameplay, and do a much better job than many Kickstarters of summarizing what to expect:

At the Gates is an empire builder similar to Sid Meier's Civilization. Starting with a small tribe, you must explore the world, exploit its scarce resources, and eliminate or outsmart potential enemies. The game starts simple but grows in complexity until you command a mighty economic and military powerhouse.

Over the course of a single game your tribe will migrate to more lush and bountiful lands, conquer and barter with other clans, work alongside the Romans, learn from them, and finally destroy them. Along the way, you'll need to master the art of war and craft cunning plans to strengthen your kingdom - all while enduring the worst mother nature can throw at you!

View
20 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 ] Older >

20. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 8, 2013, 19:22  Jon Shafer 
 
nin wrote on Feb 8, 2013, 19:21:
Looks like you've got it locked in, Jon. Congrats!
Getting close, but we're not quite there yet!

- Jon
 
Avatar 57690
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
19. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 8, 2013, 19:21 nin
 

Looks like you've got it locked in, Jon. Congrats!

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
18. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 8, 2013, 19:12  Jon Shafer 
 
Hey guys, Jon here.

You're right that 40k isn't much for a project like this. However, I'll actually be the only full-time developer on board, and many of the misc business expenses are already out of the way. We don't have an office or really any overhead costs, so that gives us a large degree of flexibility.

The other two core members of the team both still have full-time jobs and will be working on ATG in the evenings and on weekends (unless we blow way past our goal, and then we'd have other options). None of us are being "paid" to make ATG, and we all live together so rent is not an issue. I actually have another house I used to live in that I'm planning on selling in the next couple months which will also help ensure I'll be able to eat during the course of development!

So finishing the game is very much feasible on this budget - it's really just a question of level-of-comfort for the team and, in particular, myself. The campaign has gone very well so far though and it looks like we'll have more than 40k to work with, so I may be able to get away with munching on something besides ramen over the next year!

At the end of the day though, when you're an indie you have to make sacrifices. I want to have creative control and follow through on my vision. I could work for a larger company with a lot of money, but there are always strings attached. I'd rather sell all of my stuff so that I can make exactly what I want.

Thanks for your support everyone! All the best,

- Jon
 
Avatar 57690
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
17. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 21:15 shinchan0s
 
Good looking game and dev team.  
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
16. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 21:05 saluk
 
Let's not assume they have other funding. They need to explain how they are going to fund the game with only 40k of kickstarter. I think the game looks decent, I like empire builders and it's always nice to see ones that aren't specifically civ - although At the Gates seems very heavily inspired. Some of the new features definitely sound interesting though. If the financials and development process become more clear I will definitely back it.

While "it's sufficient to finish At the Gates because we've already made significant progress, and have a very small development team.", the release date is 2014. That's 1 year development - 40k isn't even enough for one developer let alone 3.

Also, no multiplayer. Am disappoint.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
15. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 18:27 Quboid
 
This looks like a good twist on Civilization. I love Civ V; it is flawed, but I find promotions and 1UPT increase the complexity, so I'm definitely interested in what he's coming up with next.

It's good to see a KS video which actually leaves me knowing about the game. Plus, he's got a lovely voice.

I assume they have other funding, maybe he did well enough from Civ to do most of it. Five bucks off the release price isn't much of a motivation given the risk of the game sucking or not being released at all.
 
Avatar 10439
 
- Quboid
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
14. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 17:42 Suckage
 
Great band! They're still around, having reformed a couple of years ago.  
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
13. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 16:22 ASeven
 
SS wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 15:18:
haha another game sharing a name with a metal band.

One of the best Death Metal bands ever at that. Damn, I miss At The Gates, the band.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
12. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 15:18 SS
 
haha another game sharing a name with a metal band.  
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
11. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 14:51 Bhruic
 
Creston wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 14:26:
I haven't looked at their KS, but let's assume 5K of their donations go into rewards. And then Amazon/KS take another 5K. That leaves 30,000 dollars for a 3 person team, so that's 10K a pop. (and here's an interesting question: Does the IRS want their share? Because I'm going to assume they do?)

Unless these guys are supported somehow, that means they can work about 3 months on the game before they're out of money on normal salaries. We haven't even spent a dime on actual software or anything, yet. That's purely just to keep 3 guys tapping away on a keyboard.

So yeah, again, I don't have much faith this can get made for 40K. Obviously I could be wrong, if they are able to work on this without drawing salaries for themselves it can go a long way, but judging by where this guy came from, I'd say he's a full-time programmer. So he's going to need money to keep going.

They aren't going the "pay lots of money for rewards" route, so that's out.

But my expectation is that they are putting some of their own money in. Or, rather, they are paying themselves with their own money. If they were trying to completely support themselves with just 40K, yeah, I'd be extremely skeptical - it's just not feasible. But for that reason, it also seems unlikely that's the situation.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
10. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 14:31 Creston
 
nin wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 14:24:
edit: Did I mention Wildman isn't going to make it?

The whole Wildman saga baffles me. Chris Taylor is a smart guy, and yet he doesn't seem to understand why his Kickstarter is failing. He keeps saying in interviews that the numbers for his Kickstarter are off by a magnitude, when he compares it to other KS. (and even that is odd, because he keeps mentioning Molyneux, and his numbers are about the same as Molyneux's were.)

Every KS he's talking about is a KS for bringing life back to an old, beloved franchise. Wasteland, Shadowrun, Baldur's Gate-style RPG, Populous.

And he comes up with some weird hybridization of DOTA/RTS/Diablo, fires his entire studio, makes it clear that the money is needed just to keep his studio alive, has repeatedly said that even if they get the 1.1 million, he doesn't really know if they will be able to finish the game with it, and somehow he is surprised that his KS isn't catching on fire.

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
9. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 14:26 Creston
 
Bhruic wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 14:22:
Creston wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 13:50:
I have no faith whatsoever that this can be made for 40K.

Creston

For a 3 person team? With pretty modest graphic requirements?

I haven't looked at their KS, but let's assume 5K of their donations go into rewards. And then Amazon/KS take another 5K. That leaves 30,000 dollars for a 3 person team, so that's 10K a pop. (and here's an interesting question: Does the IRS want their share? Because I'm going to assume they do?)

Unless these guys are supported somehow, that means they can work about 3 months on the game before they're out of money on normal salaries. We haven't even spent a dime on actual software or anything, yet. That's purely just to keep 3 guys tapping away on a keyboard.

So yeah, again, I don't have much faith this can get made for 40K. Obviously I could be wrong, if they are able to work on this without drawing salaries for themselves it can go a long way, but judging by where this guy came from, I'd say he's a full-time programmer. So he's going to need money to keep going.

Creston

This comment was edited on Feb 6, 2013, 14:32.
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
8. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 14:24 nin
 
Creston wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 13:50:
I have no faith whatsoever that this can be made for 40K.

Creston


It depends on how much of that they're funding themselves, and if they're hoping stretch goals/post KS sales will make up the rest...

I've never been a Civ fan (ducks), but I've seen far more questionable KS that get funded.


edit: Did I mention Wildman isn't going to make it?


 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
7. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 14:22 Bhruic
 
Creston wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 13:50:
I have no faith whatsoever that this can be made for 40K.

Creston

For a 3 person team? With pretty modest graphic requirements?

My only issue will be whether they actually can pull off their plans in a fun way. I like the idea of resources dwindling as the game goes on as an expansion impetus. But can they balance it well?

If I were into Kickstarts, this would definitely be one I'd support, but I'm not - so I'll be looking forward to the final product.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
6. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 13:50 Creston
 
I have no faith whatsoever that this can be made for 40K.

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
5. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 13:27 nin
 
they offer a trailer with almost 15 minutes of gameplay, and do a much better job than many Kickstarters of summarizing what to expect:

Yeah, props for that. Others should take note...

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
4. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 13:25 Keilun
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 12:43:
Agreed. It's only with the Gods and Kings epxansion now is it playing the way it should have. It's one guy with any professional experience and some pals. Couple with the fact that it's a budget title and they want $25 for it - $30 at launch - I say, yeah, good luck with that.

Single-player might be where it should have been at launch. Multiplayer, however, is a long ways away from what it was in Civ IV. It's unfortunate as it doesn't seem like there's any interest in 2K or Firaxis to continue patching the multiplayer segment of the game.

So yeah I'll be inclined to wait and see on this one.

This comment was edited on Feb 6, 2013, 13:50.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
3. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 12:43 Cutter
 
ASeven wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 12:18:
Hmmm. I'll be honest, I found Civ V way too simplistic for my tastes. I prefer IV and even III to V so although this project sounds good in theory, I'm rather concerned that this guy can actually make a project that captivates me like Civ IV has.

Agreed. It's only with the Gods and Kings epxansion now is it playing the way it should have. It's one guy with any professional experience and some pals. Couple with the fact that it's a budget title and they want $25 for it - $30 at launch - I say, yeah, good luck with that.
 
Avatar 25394
 
"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's deadů Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
2. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 12:21 dj LiTh
 
Roman empire you say? Color me intrigued.  
Avatar 46370
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
1. Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates Feb 6, 2013, 12:18 ASeven
 
Hmmm. I'll be honest, I found Civ V way too simplistic for my tastes. I prefer IV and even III to V so although this project sounds good in theory, I'm rather concerned that this guy can actually make a project that captivates me like Civ IV has.  
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
20 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 ] Older >


footer

Blue's News logo